PhotoPicker for Lightroom, Capture One, Camera Raw — versatile and fast photo sorter for iPad and iPhone

Language: English | Russian

Important: If you have a problem with the application — do not write about it in the reviews in the AppStore. Write directly to the e-mail support application and we will quickly contact you to help.


PhotoPicker allows you to select and sort tens of thousands of photos for Lightroom, Capture One, Camera Raw and other photo editors with maximum speed and convenience and is intended primarily for professional photographers.

The main advantage of PhotoPicker is, first of all, speed — you immediately see a full-sized photo, and the process of importing photos and exporting sorting results for several thousand photos takes minutes.

Now it is not necessary to pre-import photos into the Lightroom catalog. Now you can start the sorting process immediately after shooting, having only the Camera Connection Kit adapter and the iOS device with you. Sort results are saved in XMP files that will need to be copied into the folder with the RAW originals of the photo. And after importing into Lightroom, Capture One or Camera Raw, you immediately see the results of the sort.

It also supports work with Lightroom’s ready-made directories, which can be copied to PhotoPicker via: iTunes file sharing, FTP, iCloud and other cloud services.

1. Universal catalogs for Lightroom, Capture One, Camera Raw

This mode allows you to start sorting photos without first creating a Lightroom catalog.
It will also be useful for users of other photo editors, such as Capture One, Camera Raw.

The process can be divided into the following steps:

  • Import photos from a memory card to the Photo Library via the Camera Connection Kit
  • Import photo into PhotoPicker
  • After sorting, export the sort results to XMP files.
  • Import RAW originals and XMP files into a photo editor (Lightroom, Capture One, Camera Raw)

And now in more detail about each stage.

1.1 Import photos from a memory card to the Photo Library via the Camera Connection Kit

Both JPEG and RAW files can be imported.

But if your camera has a second SD card slot, we would recommend to enable parallel recording on two cards and specify RAW for the main card, and JPEG for the backup card. This would allow importing only JPEG files, reduce import time and save space on the device.

Instead of the Camera Connection Kit, you can use other similar adapters with AliExpress.

After connecting the Camera Connection Kit, open the Photo application and go to the Import tab.

Important: you need to create a separate album for the imported photos (it is more convenient to do this during the import, but it is possible and after). To do this, click on Import to: (1), in the new window, select New Album … (2) and enter a name for the new album (3).

Make sure the name of the new album is in the Import to: field. In iOS 12 added the ability to choose to import all the photos for a certain date. Highlight the desired photos (4) and click Import (5), then select Import Selected (6).

1.2В  Import photo into PhotoPicker

In the PhotoPicker program, create a new directory (7) and enter the name (8). Go to it and click on the photo import icon (9). A window will open in which all albums from the Photo Library that were created by the user are displayed. Select the desired one (10) and then select the photo resolution: original or standard. If you select standard, the photo resolution for the PhotoPicker will be reduced to 6 Megapixels.

1.3 Exporting Sort Results to XMP Files

After sorting the photo, click the export button in XMP (11). The process of generating all XMP files and their archiving takes a few seconds. After that, a window will appear with options: you can send the archive by mail, save to Files or save to another cloud service.

During the export, a file name conflict warning may appear. This case is unlikely, but possible and can occur when, in the context of a single survey, different photos on different memory cards have the same name. In this case, the _conflicted_ prefix is ​​added to the name of the conflicting XMP files.

To avoid such conflicts:
- If you are shooting on multiple cameras, then in the camera settings, specify different prefixes for naming files
- If the camera supports backup to a second SD card, then specify the parallel recording mode and the JPEG format for the backup card. Memory card capacity, select the appropriate, so that all the photos from the shooting fit on it in JPEG format. This approach provides a unique assignment of names and original RAW files on the main card.

1.4 Import RAW originals and XMP files into photo editor

Unzip the XMP files into a separate folder and copy ALL XMP files into EVERY folder where the original RAW files are located so that they are in the same folder. It’s okay if XMP files from RAW files from other folders are in the folder — photo editors will ignore all extra XMP files. This approach will save time and do not sort XMP files by the necessary folders.

Important: The XMP format supports color labels and rating, but does not support flag information. Therefore, the flags will be saved as flagged and rejected keywords, respectively. In any photo editor, you can filter images by these keywords and mark them with flags for convenience.


2. Work with already created Lightroom catalogs

2.1 Creating a catalog and importing photo

Tip: Create a separate Lightroom catalog for each photo session. Lightroom works faster if there are no more than 10,000 photos in the catalog.

To create a new LR catalog, select File > New catalog …, select the folder, specify the directory name and click Create

MacOS: Select the menu Lightroom > Catalog Settings… Then go to the File Handling tab and set the Standard Preview Size to 2880 pixels.

Windows: Select the menu Edit > Catalog Settings… Then go to the File Handling tab and set the Standard Preview Size to 2880 pixels

Tip: To reduce the size of the directory for Standard Previews, you can select a lower value of 2048 pixels, but you will lose some detail when the photo is enlarged.

To import photos, select File > Import Photos and Video from the menu. Specify Standard for the Build Previews parameter, select a photo, and click Import.

Tip: The latest version of the PhotoPicker application supports a 1:1 previews, so if you have an iPad Air or iPhone 6 or newer device, you can specify a value of 1:1 for the Build Previews.

2.2 Copying Lightroom catalog to PhotoPicker App

Important: If you start to edit photos after the import, Lightroom will remove their high-resolution previews from the catalog. PhotoPicker App will then report «High resolution image preview is not available…»:


To resolve this before copying the Lightroom catalog to the PhotoPicker App, first rebuild the previews. Select all the photos, go to the Library tab and select Library > Previews > Build Standard-Sized Preview.

2.2.1 Via iTunes file share (the fastest and stable)

Copy your * .lrcat catalog file and the * Previews.lrdata folder to the iPad via iTunes File Sharing into the PhotoPicker application. To do this, connect the iPad, launch iTunes, select your iPad in iTunes, go to its App tab and in File Sharing select the PhotoPicker application and click Add. Then select two elements at the same time — the catalog file *. Lrcat and the folder * Previews.lrdata and click Add.

If the copied catalog does not appear on the iPad in PhotoPicker, pull to refresh.


2.2.2 Via FTP (stable, but a bit slower than through iTunes)

It is necessary that the iPad be connected via WiFi to one network with a computer.

In the PhotoPicker application, click the FTP icon. The FTP server will start and a window with the connection settings will be displayed on the screen


For Windows users to copy, we recommend using the built-in FTP client in the Total Commander file manager or similar.

IMPORTANT: After copying in the root of the FTP server, the * .lrcat directory file and the corresponding folder with previews * Previews.lrdata should be placed, not the folder that contains them

After copying, stop the FTP server by clicking Stop FTP Server in the window.


2.2.3 Via cloud services (iCloud, DropBox and others) (convenient, but slow)

Archive the directory to a ZIP archive and mark it up on the cloud service. In the PhotoPicker program on the screen displaying all the directories, click the Export icon and select the desired archive on the cloud service.


2.3 Menu

Autoadvance provides the transition to the next photo immediately after the setting of the flags.

Thumbnails size can be selected from three options — Small, Medium and Large.

Swipe gesture allows you to select the action for the swipe gesture: controls flags, ratings or combined mode, when the swipe on the left side of the screen controls the rating, and the right one — the flags.

Previews 1:1 support — displaying 1:1 previews provided that it was specified when importing photos into the Lightroom catalog.

Always hide rating control — hides the rating control when viewing a single photo.

Hide flag control in full-screen mode — hides the flags control when viewing a single photo when other controls are hidden.

Invisible flag setting - disables the pop-up icon when setting flags.

Clear cache — deletes temporary files. It is recommended after you delete a catalog.


2.4. Working with the LR catalog in PhotoPicker

Select a specific LR catalog and folder in the catalog structure, or click All photos to display all the photos in the catalog. The photos are sorted by the shooting date and time.



Photos can be filtered by flags, rating and color labels.

You can also search for the last picked photo by clicking on .

In viewing mode you can change the rating and flags for individual photos by using the following gestures:

  • Swipe up: sets the green flag for the photo in sequence (red flag > no flag > green flag).
  • Swipe down: sets the red flag for the photo in sequence (green flag > no flag > red flag).
  • Double click: zoom 2X on a certain part of the photo.
  • Left and right are the tap-zones for instantaneous transition to the previous and next photos, respectively.

In this mode, external keyboards (bluetooth and smart) are supported:

  • 0-5: setting the appropriate rating
  • 6-9: Setting Color Labels
  • up / down: control flags, similar to swipe gestures up / down
  • right / left: navigate between photos


2.5 Copying a catalog from PhotoPicker to Lightroom

When you have finished making your selections, copy only the *.lrcat catalog file from your iPad to the Lightroom directory via iTunes file sharing or the built-in FTP server. The folder * Previews.lrdata only contains previews and does not need to be copied.

After that you can continue processing the selected photos in Lightroom.

2.6 Deleting a LR catalog in PhotoPicker App

To delete a LR catalog in PhotoPicker App, swipe the catalog line to the left and click «Delete».

Again, if you have a problem with the application — do not write about it in the reviews in the AppStore, which does not provide feedback. Write directly to the e-mail support application and we will quickly contact you to help.

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